Anne Bradstreet
(1612-1672)


Header

A Dialogue between Old England and New
A Letter to Her Husband 
A Love Letter to Her Husband 
Another 
Another (II) 
The Author to her Book
Before the Birth of One of Her Children 
By Night when Others Soundly Slept 
Contemplations 
Deliverance from a Fit of Fainting 
Deliverance from Another Sore Fit 
Epitaphs 
The Flesh and the Spirit  
Here Follow Several Occasional Meditations 
In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth 
In Reference to her Children, 23 June 1659 
In Thankful Remembrance for My Dear Husband's Safe Arrival Sept 3, 1662 
Meditations Divine and Moral 
Of the Four Ages of Man 
The Prologue 
Spirit 
To Her Father with Some Verses 
To my Dear and Loving Husband 
Upon a Fit of Sickness,Anno 1632 Aetatis Suae, 19 
Upon My Dear and Loving Husband his Going into England Jan. 16, 1661 
Upon Some Distemper of Body 
The Vanity of All Worldly Things
Verses upon the Burning of our House, July 18th, 1666 
We May Live Together 

A Dialogue between Old England and New 


New England. 
Alas, dear Mother, fairest Queen and best, 
With honour, wealth, and peace happy and blest, 
What ails thee hang thy head, and cross thine arms, 
And sit i' the dust to sigh these sad alarms? 
What deluge of new woes thus over-whelm 
The glories of thy ever famous Realm? 
What means this wailing tone, this mournful guise? 
Ah, tell thy Daughter; she may sympathize. 

Old England. 
Art ignorant indeed of these my woes, 
Or must my forced tongue these griefs disclose, 
And must my self dissect my tatter'd state, 
Which Amazed Christendom stands wondering at? 
And thou a child, a Limb, and dost not feel 
My weak'ned fainting body now to reel? 
This physic-purging-potion I have taken 
Will bring Consumption or an Ague quaking, 
Unless some Cordial thou fetch from high, 
Which present help may ease my malady. 
If I decease, dost think thou shalt survive? 
Or by my wasting state dost think to thrive? 
Then weigh our case, if 't be not justly sad. 
Let me lament alone, while thou art glad. 

New England. 
And thus, alas, your state you much deplore 
In general terms, but will not say wherefore. 
What Medicine shall I seek to cure this woe, 
If th' wound's so dangerous, I may not know? 
But you, perhaps, would have me guess it out. 
What, hath some Hengist like that Saxon stout 
By fraud and force usurp'd thy flow'ring crown, 
Or by tempestuous Wars thy fields trod down? 
Or hath Canutus, that brave valiant Dane, 
The regal peaceful Sceptre from thee ta'en? 
Or is 't a Norman whose victorious hand 
With English blood bedews thy conquered Land? 
Or is 't intestine Wars that thus offend? 
Do Maud and Stephen for the Crown contend? 
Do Barons rise and side against their King, 
And call in Foreign aid to help the thing? 
Must Edward be depos'd? Or is 't the hour 
That second Richard must be clapp'd i' th' Tower? 
Or is it the fatal jar, again begun, 
That from the red, white pricking Roses sprung? 
Must Richmond's aid the Nobles now implore 
To come and break the tushes of the Boar? 
If none of these, dear Mother, what's your woe? 
Pray, do not fear Spain's bragging Armado. 
Doth your Ally, fair France, conspire your wrack, 
Or doth the Scots play false behind your back? 
Doth Holland quit you ill for all your love? 
Whence is this storm, from Earth or Heaven above? 
Is 't drought, is 't Famine, or is 't Pestilence? 
Dost feel the smart, or fear the consequence? 
Your humble Child entreats you shew your grief. 
Though Arms nor Purse she hath for your relief-- 
Such is her poverty,--yet shall be found 
A suppliant for your help, as she is bound. 

Old England. 
I must confess some of those Sores you name 
My beauteous Body at this present maim, 
But foreign Foe nor feigned friend I fear, 
For they have work enough, thou knowest, elsewhere. 
Nor is it Alcie's son and Henry's Daughter 
Whose proud contention cause this slaughter; 
Nor Nobles siding to make John no King, 
French Louis unjustly to the Crown to bring; 
No Edward, Richard, to lose rule and life, 
Nor no Lancastrians to renew old strife; 
No Crook-backt Tyrant now usurps the Seat, 
Whose tearing tusks did wound, and kill, and threat. 
No Duke of York nor Earl of March to soil 
Their hands in Kindred's blood whom they did foil; 
No need of Tudor Roses to unite: 
None knows which is the Red or which the White. 
Spain's braving Fleet a second time is sunk. 
France knows how of my fury she hath drunk 
By Edward third and Henry fifth of fame; 
Her Lilies in my Arms avouch the same. 
My Sister Scotland hurts me now no more, 
Though she hath been injurious heretofore. 
What Holland is, I am in some suspense, 
But trust not much unto his Excellence. 
For wants, sure some I feel, but more I fear; 
And for the Pestilence, who knows how near? 
Famine and Plague, two sisters of the Sword, 
Destruction to a Land doth soon afford. 
They're for my punishments ordain'd on high, 
Unless thy tears prevent it speedily. 
But yet I answer not what you demand 
To shew the grievance of my troubled Land. 
Before I tell the effect I'll shew the cause, 
Which are my sins--the breach of sacred Laws: 
Idolatry, supplanter of a N ation, 
With foolish superstitious adoration, 
Are lik'd and countenanc'd by men of might, 
The Gospel is trod down and hath no right. 
Church Offices are sold and bought for gain 
That Pope had hope to find Rome here again. 
For Oaths and Blasphemies did ever ear 
From Beelzebub himself such language hear? 
What scorning of the Saints of the most high! 
What injuries did daily on them lie! 
What false reports, what nick-names did they take, 
Not for their own, but for their Master's sake! 
And thou, poor soul, wast jeer'd among the rest; 
Thy flying for the Truth I made a jest. 
For Sabbath-breaking and for Drunkenness 
Did ever Land profaneness more express? 
From crying bloods yet cleansed am not I, 
Martyrs and others dying causelessly. 
How many Princely heads on blocks laid down 
For nought but title to a fading Crown! 
'Mongst all the cruelties which I have done, 
Oh, Edward's Babes, and Clarence's hapless Son, 
O Jane, why didst thou die in flow'ring prime?-- 
Because of Royal Stem, that was thy crime. 
For Bribery, Adultery, for Thefts, and Lies 
Where is the Nation I can't paralyze? 
With Usury, Extortion, and Oppression, 
These be the Hydras of my stout transgression; 
These be the bitter fountains, heads, and roots 
Whence flow'd the source, the sprigs, the boughs, and fruits. 
Of more than thou canst hear or I relate, 
That with high hand I still did perpetrate, 
For these were threat'ned the woeful day 
I mocked the Preachers, put it fair away. 
The Sermons yet upon record do stand 
That cried destruction to my wicked Land. 
These Prophets' mouths (all the while) was stopt, 
Unworthily, some backs whipt, and ears crept; 
Their reverent cheeks bear the glorious marks 
Of stinking, stigmatizing Romish Clerks; 
Some lost their livings, some in prison pent, 
Some grossly fined, from friends to exile went: 
Their silent tongues to heaven did vengeance cry, 
Who heard their cause, and wrongs judg'd righteously, 
And will repay it sevenfold in my lap. 
This is fore-runner of my after-clap. 
Nor took I warning by my neighbors' falls. 
I saw sad Germany's dismantled walls, 
I saw her people famish'd, Nobles slain, 
Her fruitful land a barren heath remain. 
I saw (unmov'd) her Armies foil'd and fled, 
Wives forc'd, babes toss'd, her houses calcined. 
I saw strong Rochelle yield'd to her foe, 
Thousands of starved Christians there also. 
I saw poor Ireland bleeding out her last, 
Such cruelty as all reports have past. 
Mine heart obdurate stood not yet aghast. 
Now sip I of that cup, and just 't may be 
The bottom dregs reserved are for me. 


New England. 
To all you've said, sad mother, I assent. 
Your fearful sins great cause there 's to lament. 
My guilty hands (in part) hold up with you, 
A sharer in your punishment's my due. 
But all you say amounts to this effect, 
Not what you feel, but what you do expect. 
Pray, in plain terms, what is your present grief? 
Then let's join heads and hands for your relief. 

Old England. 
Well, to the matter, then. There's grown of late 
'Twixt King and Peers a question of state: 
Which is the chief, the law, or else the King? 
One saith, it's he; the other, no such thing. 
My better part in Court of Parliament 
To ease my groaning land shew their intent 
To crush the proud, and right to each man deal, 
To help the Church, and stay the Common-Weal. 
So many obstacles comes in their way 
As puts me to a stand what I should say. 
Old customs, new Prerogatives stood on. 
Had they not held law fast, all had been gone, 
Which by their prudence stood them in such stead 
They took high Strafford lower by the head, 
And to their Laud be 't spoke they held 'n th' Tower 
All England's metropolitan that hour. 
This done, an Act they would have passed fain 
No prelate should his Bishopric retain. 
Here tugg'd they hard indeed, for all men saw 
This must be done by Gospel, not by law. 
Next the Militia they urged sore. 
This was denied, I need not say wherefore. 
The King, displeased, at York himself absents. 
They humbly beg return, shew their intents. 
The writing, printing, posting to and fro, 
Shews all was done; I'll therefore let it go. 
But now I come to speak of my disaster. 
Contention's grown 'twixt Subjects and their Master, 
They worded it so long they fell to blows, 
That thousands lay on heaps. Here bleeds my woes. 
I that no wars so many years have known 
Am now destroy'd and slaughter'd by mine own. 
But could the field alone this strife decide, 
One battle, two, or three I might abide, 
But these may be beginnings of more woe-- 
Who knows, the worst, the best may overthrow! 
Religion, Gospel, here lies at the stake, 
Pray now, dear child, for sacred Zion's sake, 
Oh, pity me in this sad perturbation, 
My plundered Towns, my houses' devastation, 
My ravisht virgins, and my young men slain, 
My wealthy trading fallen, my dearth of grain. 
The seedtime's come, but Ploughman hath no hope 
Because he knows not who shall inn his crop. 
The poor they want their pay, their children bread, 
Their woful mothers' tears unpitied. 
If any pity in thy heart remain, 
Or any child-like love thou dost retain, 
For my relief now use thy utmost skill, 
And recompense me good for all my ill. 

New England. 
Dear mother, cease complaints, and wipe your eyes, 
Shake off your dust, cheer up, and now arise. 
You are my mother, nurse, I once your flesh, 
Your sunken bowels gladly would refresh. 
Your griefs I pity much but should do wrong, 
To weep for that we both have pray'd for long, 
To see these latter days of hop'd-for good, 
That Right may have its right, though 't be with blood. 
After dark Popery the day did clear; 
But now the Sun in's brightness shall appear. 
Blest be the Nobles of thy Noble Land 
With (ventur'd lives) for truth's defence that stand. 
Blest be thy Commons, who for Common good 
And thy infringed Laws have boldly stood. 
Blest be thy Counties, who do aid thee still 
With hearts and states to testify their will. 
Blest be thy Preachers, who do cheer thee on. 
Oh, cry: the sword of God and Gideon! 
And shall I not on them wish Mero's curse 
That help thee not with prayers, arms, and purse? 
And for my self, let miseries abound 
If mindless of thy state I e'er be found. 
These are the days the Church's foes to crush, 
To root out Prelates, head, tail, branch, and rush. 
Let's bring Baal's vestments out, to make a fire, 
Their Mitres, Surplices, and all their tire, 
Copes, Rochets, Croziers, and such trash, 
And let their names consume, but let the flash 
Light Christendom, and all the world to see 
We hate Rome's Whore, with all her trumpery. 
Go on, brave Essex, shew whose son thou art, 
Not false to King, nor Country in thy heart, 
But those that hurt his people and his Crown, 
By force expel, destroy, and tread them down. 
Let Gaols be fill'd with th' remnant of that pack, 
And sturdy Tyburn loaded till it crack. 
And ye brave Nobles, chase away all fear, 
And to this blessed Cause closely adhere. 
O mother, can you weep and have such Peers? 
When they are gone, then drown your self in tears, 
If now you weep so much, that then no more 
The briny Ocean will o'erflow your shore. 
These, these are they (I trust) with Charles our king, 
Out of all mists such glorious days will bring 
That dazzled eyes, beholding, much shall wonder 
At that thy settled Peace, thy wealth, and splendour, 
Thy Church and Weal establish'd in such manner 
That all shall joy that thou display'dst thy banner, 
And discipline erected so, I trust, 
That nursing Kings shall come and lick thy dust. 
Then Justice shall in all thy Courts take place 
Without respect of persons or of case. 
Then bribes shall cease, and suits shall not stick long, 
Patience and purse of Clients for to wrong. 
Then High Commissions shall fall to decay, 
And Pursuivants and Catchpoles want their pay. 
So shall thy happy Nation ever flourish, 
When truth and righteousness they thus shall nourish. 
When thus in Peace, thine Armies brave send out 
To sack proud Rome, and all her vassals rout. 
There let thy name, thy fame, and valour shine, 
As did thine Ancestors' in Palestine, 
And let her spoils full pay with int'rest be 
Of what unjustly once she poll'd from thee. 
Of all the woes thou canst let her be sped, 
Execute to th' full the vengeance threatened. 
Bring forth the beast that rul'd the world with's beck, 
And tear his flesh, and set your feet on's neck, 
And make his filthy den so desolate 
To th' 'stonishment of all that knew his state. 
This done, with brandish'd swords to Turkey go,-- 
(For then what is it but English blades dare do?) 
And lay her waste, for so's the sacred doom, 
And do to Gog as thou hast done to Rome. 
Oh Abraham's seed, lift up your heads on high, 
For sure the day of your redemption's nigh. 
The scales shall fall from your long blinded eyes, 
And him you shall adore who now despise. 
Then fullness of the Nations in shall flow, 
And Jew and Gentile to one worship go. 
Then follows days of happiness and rest. 
Whose lot doth fall to live therein is blest. 
No Canaanite shall then be found 'n th' land, 
And holiness on horses' bells shall stand. 
If this make way thereto, then sigh no more, 
But if at all thou didst not see 't before. 
Farewell, dear mother; Parliament, prevail, 
And in a while you'll tell another tale. 
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A Letter to Her Husband 
Absent upon Public Employment 

My head, my heart, mine eyes, my life, nay more, 
My joy, my magazine, of earthly store, 
If two be one, as surely thou and I, 
How stayest thou there, whilst I at Ipswich lie? 
So many steps, head from the heart to sever, 
If but a neck, soon should we be together. 
I, like the Earth this season, mourn in black, 
My Sun is gone so far in's zodiac, 
Whom whilst I 'joyed, nor storms, nor frost I felt, 
His warmth such fridged colds did cause to melt. 
My chilled limbs now numbed lie forlorn; 
Return; return, sweet Sol, from Capricorn; 
In this dead time, alas, what can I more 
Than view those fruits which through thy heart I bore? 
Which sweet contentment yield me for a space, 
True living pictures of their father's face. 
O strange effect! now thou art southward gone, 
I weary grow the tedious day so long; 
But when thou northward to me shalt return, 
I wish my Sun may never set, but burn 
Within the Cancer of my glowing breast, 
The welcome house of him my dearest guest. 
Where ever, ever stay, and go not thence, 
Till nature's sad decree shall call thee hence; 
Flesh of thy flesh, bone of thy bone, 
I here, thou there, yet both but one. 
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A Love Letter to Her Husband 

Phoebus make haste, the day's too long, begone, 
The silent night's the fittest time for moan; 
But stay this once, unto my suit give ear, 
And tell my griefs in either Hemisphere: 
(And if the whirling of thy wheels do n't drown'd 
The woful accents of my doleful sound), 
If in thy swift career thou canst make stay, 
I crave this boon, this errand by the way: 
Commend me to the man more lov'd than life, 
Show him the sorrows of his widow'd wife, 
My dumpish thoughts, my groans, my brackish tears, 
My sobs, my longing hopes, my doubting fears, 
And, if he love, how can he there abide? 
My interest's more than all the world beside. 
He that can tell the stars or Ocean sand, 
Or all the grass that in the meads do stand, 
The leaves in th' woods, the hail or drops of rain, 
Or in a cornfield number every grain, 
Or every mote that in the sunshine hops, 
May court my sighs and number all my drops. 
Tell him, the countless steps that thou dost trace, 
That once a day thy spouse thou mayst embrace; 
And when thou canst not treat by loving mouth, 
Thy rays afar, salute her from the south. 
But for one month I see no day (poor soul) 
Like those far situate under the pole, 
Which day by day long wait for thy arise, 
O how they joy when thou dost light the skies. 
O Phoebus, hadst thou but thus long from thine 
Restrain'd the beams of thy beloved shine, 
At thy return, if so thou couldst or durst, 
Behold a Chaos blacker than the first. 
Tell him here's worse than a confused matter, 
His little world's a fathom under water, 
Naught but the fervor of his ardent beams 
Hath power to dry the torrent of these streams. 
Tell him I would say more, but cannot well, 
Opressed minds abrupted tales do tell. 
Now post with double speed, mark what I say, 
By all our loves conjure him not to stay. 
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Another 

Phoebus make haste, the day's too long, be gone, 
The silent night's the fittest time for moan; 
But stay this once, unto my suit give ear, 
And tell my griefs in either hemisphere. 
(And if the whirling of thy wheels don't drown'd) 
The woeful accents of my doleful sound, 
If in thy swift carrier thou canst make stay, 
I crave this boon, this errand by the way, 
Commend me to the man more loved than life, 
Show him the sorrows of his widowed wife; 
My dumpish thoughts, my groans, my brakish tears 
My sobs, my longing hopes, my doubting fears, 
And if he love, how can he there abide? 
My interest's more than all the world beside. 
He that can tell the stars or ocean sand, 
Or all the grass that in the meads do stand, 
The leaves in th' woods, the hail, or drops of rain, 
Or in a corn-field number every grain, 
Or every mote that in the sunshine hops, 
May count my sighs, and number all my drops. 
Tell him the countless steps that thou dost trace, 
That once a day thy spouse thou may'st embrace; 
And when thou canst not treat by loving mouth, 
Thy rays afar salute her from the south. 
But for one month I see no day (poor soul) 
Like those far situate under the pole, 
Which day by day long wait for thy arise, 
O how they joy when thou dost light the skies. 
O Phoebus, hadst thou but thus long from thine 
Restrained the beams of thy beloved shine, 
At thy return, if so thou could'st or durst, 
Behold a Chaos blacker than the first. 
Tell him here's worse than a confused matter, 
His little world's a fathom under water. 
Nought but the fervor of his ardent beams 
Hath power to dry the torrent of these streams. 
Tell him I would say more, but cannot well, 
Oppressed minds abruptest tales do tell. 
Now post with double speed, mark what I say, 
By all our loves conjure him not to stay. 
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Another (II) 

As loving hind that (hartless) wants her deer, 
Scuds through the woods and fern with hark'ning ear, 
Perplext, in every bush and nook doth pry, 
Her dearest deer, might answer ear or eye; 
So doth my anxious soul, which now doth miss 
A dearer dear (far dearer heart) than this. 
Still wait with doubts, and hopes, and failing eye, 
His voice to hear or person to descry. 
Or as the pensive dove doth all alone 
(On withered bough) most uncouthly bemoan 
The absence of her love and loving mate, 
Whose loss hath made her so unfortunate, 
Ev'n thus do I, with many a deep sad groan, 
Bewail my turtle true, who now is gone, 
His presence and his safe return still woos, 
With thousand doleful sighs and mournful coos. 
Or as the loving mullet, that true fish, 
Her fellow lost, nor joy nor life do wish, 
But launches on that shore, there for to die, 
Where she her captive husband doth espy. 
Mine being gone, I lead a joyless life, 
I have a loving peer, yet seem no wife; 
But worst of all, to him can't steer my course, 
I here, he there, alas, both kept by force. 
Return my dear, my joy, my only love, 
Unto thy hind, thy mullet, and thy dove, 
Who neither joys in pasture, house, nor streams, 
The substance gone, O me, these are but dreams. 
Together at one tree, oh let us browse, 
And like two turtles roost within one house, 
And like the mullets in one river glide, 
Let's still remain but one, till death divide. 
Thy loving love and dearest dear, 
At home, abroad, and everywhere. 
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The Author to her Book

Thou ill-form'd offspring of my feeble brain, 
Who after birth did'st by my side remain, 
Till snatcht from thence by friends, less wise than true, 
Who thee abroad expos'd to public view, 
Made thee in rags, halting to th' press to trudge, 
Where errors were not lessened (all may judge). 
At thy return my blushing was not small, 
My rambling brat (in print) should mother call. 
I cast thee by as one unfit for light, 
Thy Visage was so irksome in my sight, 
Yet being mine own, at length affection would 
Thy blemishes amend, if so I could. 
I wash'd thy face, but more defects I saw, 
And rubbing off a spot, still made a flaw. 
I stretcht thy joints to make thee even feet, 
Yet still thou run'st more hobbling than is meet. 
In better dress to trim thee was my mind, 
But nought save home-spun Cloth, i' th' house I find. 
In this array, 'mongst Vulgars mayst thou roam. 
In Critics' hands, beware thou dost not come, 
And take thy way where yet thou art not known. 
If for thy Father askt, say, thou hadst none; 
And for thy Mother, she alas is poor, 
Which caus'd her thus to send thee out of door. 
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Before the Birth of One of Her Children 

All things within this fading world hath end, 
Adversity doth still our joys attend; 
No ties so strong, no friends so dear and sweet, 
But with death's parting blow is sure to meet. 
The sentence past is most irrevocable, 
A common thing, yet oh, inevitable. 
How soon, my Dear, death may my steps attend. 
How soon't may be thy lot to lose thy friend, 
We both are ignorant, yet love bids me 
These farewell lines to recommend to thee, 
That when that knot's untied that made us one, 
I may seem thine, who in effect am none. 
And if I see not half my days that's due, 
What nature would, God grant to yours and you; 
The many faults that well you know 
I have Let be interred in my oblivious grave; 
If any worth or virtue were in me, 
Let that live freshly in thy memory 
And when thou feel'st no grief, as I no harms, 
Yet love thy dead, who long lay in thine arms. 
And when thy loss shall be repaid with gains 
Look to my little babes, my dear remains. 
And if thou love thyself, or loved'st me, 
These O protect from step-dame's injury. 
And if chance to thine eyes shall bring this verse, 
With some sad sighs honour my absent hearse; 
And kiss this paper for thy love's dear sake, 
Who with salt tears this last farewell did take. 
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By Night when Others Soundly Slept 
 
By night when others soundly slept 
And hath at once both ease and Rest, 
My waking eyes were open kept 
And so to lie I found it best. 

I sought him whom my Soul did Love, 
With tears I sought him earnestly. 
He bow'd his ear down from Above. 
In vain I did not seek or cry. 

My hungry Soul he fill'd with Good; 
He in his Bottle put my tears, 
My smarting wounds washt in his blood, 
And banisht thence my Doubts and fears. 

What to my Saviour shall I give 
Who freely hath done this for me? 
I'll serve him here whilst I shall live 
And Loue him to Eternity 
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Contemplations 
 
Some time now past in the Autumnal Tide, 
When Phoebus wanted but one hour to bed, 
The trees all richly clad, yet void of pride, 
Were gilded o'er by his rich golden head. 
Their leaves and fruits seem'd painted, but was true 
Of green, of red, of yellow, mixed hue, 
Rapt were my senses at this delectable view. 

I wist not what to wish, yet sure, thought I, 
If so much excellence abide below, 
How excellent is He that dwells on high! 
Whose power and beauty by his works we know; 
Sure he is goodness, wisdom, glory, light, 
That hath this underworld so richly dight: 
More Heaven than Earth was here, no winter and no night. 

Then on a stately oak I cast mine eye, 
Whose ruffling top the clouds seem'd to aspire; 
How long since thou wast in thine infancy? 
Thy strength, and stature, more thy years admire; 
Hath hundred winters past since thou wast born, 
Or thousand since thou breakest thy shell of horn? 
If so, all these as naught Eternity doth scorn. 

Then higher on the glistering Sun I gaz'd, 
Whose beams was shaded by the leafy tree; 
The more I look'd, the more I grew amaz'd, 
And softly said, what glory's like to thee? 
Soul of this world, this Universe's eye, 
No wonder, some made thee a Deity: 
Had I not better known (alas), the same had I. 

Thou as a bridegroom from thy chamber rushes, 
And, as a strong man, joys to run a race; 
The morn doth usher thee, with smiles and blushes, 
The Earth reflects her glances in thy face. 
Birds, insects, animals with vegetive, 
Thy heart from death and dulness doth revive: 
And in the darksome womb of fruitful nature dive. 

Thy swift annual, and diurnal course, 
Thy daily straight, and yearly oblique path, 
Thy pleasing fervor, and thy scorching force, 
All mortals here the feeling knowledge hath. 
Thy presence makes it day, thy absence night, 
Quaternal Seasons caused by thy might: 
Hail creature, full of sweetness, beauty and delight. 

Art thou so full of glory, that no eye 
Hath strength, thy shining rays once to behold? 
And is thy splendid throne erect so high, 
As to approach it, can no earthly mould? 
How full of glory then must thy Creator be, 
Who gave this bright light lustre unto thee! 
Admir'd, ador'd forever, be that Majesty.... 

I heard the merry grasshopper then sing, 
The black-clad cricket bear a second part, 
They kept one tune, and played on the same string, 
Seeming to glory in their little art. 
Shall creatures abject thus their voices raise? 
And in their kind resound their Maker's praise: 
Whilst I, as mute, can warble forth no higher lays.... 

When I behold the heavens as in their prime, 
And then the earth (though old) still clad in green, 
The stones and trees, insensible of time, 
Nor age nor wrinkle on their front are seen; 
If winter come, and greenness then do fade, 
A Spring returns, and they more youthful made; 
But Man grows old, lies down, remains where once he's laid. 

By birth more noble than those creatures all, 
Yet seems by nature and by custom curs'd, 
No sooner born, but grief and care makes fall 
That state obliterate he had at first: 
Nor youth, nor strength, nor wisdom spring again, 
Nor habitations long their names retain, 
But in oblivion to the final day remain.... 

O Time, the fatal wrack of mortal things, 
That draws oblivion's curtains over kings, 
Their sumptuous monuments, men know them not, 
Their names without a record are forgot, 
Their parts, their ports, their pomp's all laid in th' dust, 
Nor wit nor gold, nor buildings 'scape time's rust; 
But he whose name is grav'd in the white stone 
Shall last and shine when all of these are gone. 
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Deliverance from a Fit of Fainting 
 
Worthy art Thou, O Lord, of praise, 
But ah! It's not in me. 
My sinking heart I pray Thee raise 
So shall I give it Thee. 

My life as spider's webb's cut off, 
Thus fainting have I said, 
And living man no more shall see 
But be in silence laid. 

My feeble spirit Thou didst revive, 
My doubting Thou didst chide, 
And though as dead mad'st me alive, 
I here a while might 'bide. 

Why should I live but to Thy praise? 
My life is hid with Thee. 
O Lord, no longer be my days 
Than I may fruitful be. 
 TOP

Deliverance from Another Sore Fit 

In my distress I sought the Lord 
When naught on earth could comfort give, 
And when my soul these things abhorred, 
Then, Lord, Thou said'st unto me, "Live." 

Thou knowest the sorrows that I felt; 
My plaints and groans were heard of Thee, 
And how in sweat I seemed to melt 
Thou help'st and Thou regardest me. 

My wasted flesh Thou didst restore, 
My feeble loins didst gird with strength, 
Yea, when I was most low and poor, 
I said I shall praise Thee at length. 

What shall I render to my God 
For all His bounty showed to me? 
Even for His mercies in His rod, 
Where pity most of all I see. 

My heart I wholly give to Thee; 
O make it fruitful, faithful Lord. 
My life shall dedicated be 
To praise in thought, in deed, in word. 

Thou know'st no life I did require 
Longer than still Thy name to praise, 
Nor ought on earth worthy desire, 
In drawing out these wretched days. 

Thy name and praise to celebrate, 
O Lord, for aye is my request. 
O grant I do it in this state, 
And then with Thee, which is the best. 
TOP


Epitaphs 

Her Mother's Epitaph 

Here lies 
A worthy matron of unspotted life, 
A loving mother and obedient wife, 
A friendly neighbor, pitiful to poor, 
Whom oft she fed, and clothed with her store; 
To servants wisely aweful, but yet kind, 
And as they did, so they reward did find: 
A true instructor of her family, 
The which she ordered with dexterity, 
The public meetings ever did frequent, 
And in her closest constant hours she spent; 
Religious in all her words and ways, 
Preparing still for death, till end of days: 
Of all her children, children lived to see, 
Then dying, left a blessed memory. 


Her Father's Epitaph 

Within this tomb a patriot lies 
That was both pious, just and wise, 
To truth a shield, to right a wall, 
To sectaries a whip and maul, 
A magazine of history, 
A prizer of good company 
In manners pleasant and severe 
The good him loved, the bad did fear, 
And when his time with years was spent 
In some rejoiced, more did lament. 
1653, age 77 
TOP


The Flesh and the Spirit

In secret place where once I stood 
Close by the Banks of Lacrim flood, 
I heard two sisters reason on 
Things that are past and things to come. 
One Flesh was call'd, who had her eye 
On worldly wealth and vanity; 
The other Spirit, who did rear 
Her thoughts unto a higher sphere. 
"Sister," quoth Flesh, "what liv'st thou on 
Nothing but Meditation? 
Doth Contemplation feed thee so 
Regardlessly to let earth go? 
Can Speculation satisfy 
Notion without Reality? 
Dost dream of things beyond the Moon 
And dost thou hope to dwell there soon? 
Hast treasures there laid up in store 
That all in th' world thou count'st but poor? 
Art fancy-sick or turn'd a Sot 
To catch at shadows which are not? 
Come, come. I'll show unto thy sense, 
Industry hath its recompence. 
What canst desire, but thou maist see 
True substance in variety? 
Dost honour like? Acquire the same, 
As some to their immortal fame; 
And trophies to thy name erect 
Which wearing time shall ne'er deject. 
For riches dost thou long full sore? 
Behold enough of precious store. 
Earth hath more silver, pearls, and gold 
Than eyes can see or hands can hold. 
Affects thou pleasure? Take thy fill. 
Earth hath enough of what you will. 
Then let not go what thou maist find 
For things unknown only in mind." 
TOP

Here Follow Several Occasional Meditations 

By night when others soundly slept, 
And had at once both case and rest, 
My waking eyes were open kept 
And so to lie I found it best. 

I sought Him whom my soul did love, 
With tears I sought Him earnestly; 
He bowed His ear down from above. 
In vain I did not seek or cry. 

My hungry soul He filled with good, 
He in His bottle put my tears, 
My smarting wounds washed in His blood, 
And banished thence my doubts and fears. 

What to my Savior shall I give, 
Who freely hath done this for me? 
I'll serve Him here whilst I shall live 
And love Him to eternity. 
TOP

In Honour of that High and Mighty Princess, Queen Elizabeth 

Proem. 

Although great Queen, thou now in silence lie, 
Yet thy loud Herald Fame, doth to the sky 
Thy wondrous worth proclaim, in every clime, 
And so has vow'd, whilst there is world or time. 
So great's thy glory, and thine excellence, 
The sound thereof raps every human sense 
That men account it no impiety 
To say thou wert a fleshly Deity. 
Thousands bring off'rings (though out of date) 
Thy world of honours to accumulate. 
'Mongst hundred Hecatombs of roaring Verse, 
'Mine bleating stands before thy royal Hearse. 
Thou never didst, nor canst thou now disdain, 
T' accept the tribute of a loyal Brain. 
Thy clemency did yerst esteem as much 
The acclamations of the poor, as rich, 
Which makes me deem, my rudeness is no wrong, 
Though I resound thy greatness 'mongst the throng. 

The Poem. 

No Ph{oe}nix Pen, nor Spenser's Poetry, 
No Speed's, nor Camden's learned History; 
Eliza's works, wars, praise, can e're compact, 
The World's the Theater where she did act. 
No memories, nor volumes can contain, 
The nine Olymp'ades of her happy reign, 
Who was so good, so just, so learn'd, so wise, 
From all the Kings on earth she won the prize. 
Nor say I more than truly is her due. 
Millions will testify that this is true. 
She hath wip'd off th' aspersion of her Sex, 
That women wisdom lack to play the Rex. 
Spain's Monarch sa's not so, not yet his Host: 
She taught them better manners to their cost. 
The Salic Law had not in force now been, 
If France had ever hop'd for such a Queen. 
But can you Doctors now this point dispute, 
Since first the Sun did run, his ne'er runn'd race, 
And earth had twice a year, a new old face; 
Since time was time, and man unmanly man, 
Come shew me such a Ph{oe}nix if you can. 
Was ever people better rul'd than hers? 
Was ever Land more happy, freed from stirs? 
Did ever wealth in England so abound? 
Her Victories in foreign Coasts resound? 
Ships more invincible than Spain's, her foe 
She rack't, she sack'd, she sunk his Armadoe. 
Her stately Troops advanc'd to Lisbon's wall, 
Don Anthony in's right for to install. 
She frankly help'd Franks' (brave) distressed King, 
The States united now her fame do sing. 
She their Protectrix was, they well do know, 
Unto our dread Virago, what they owe. 
Her Nobles sacrific'd their noble blood, 
Nor men, nor coin she shap'd, to do them good. 
The rude untamed Irish she did quell, 
And Tiron bound, before her picture fell. 
Had ever Prince such Counsellors as she? 
Her self Minerva caus'd them so to be. 
Such Soldiers, and such Captains never seen, 
As were the subjects of our (Pallas) Queen: 
Her Sea-men through all straits the world did round, 
Terra incognitæ might know her sound. 
Her Drake came laded home with Spanish gold, 
Her Essex took Cadiz, their Herculean hold. 
But time would fail me, so my wit would too, 
To tell of half she did, or she could do. 
Semiramis to her is but obscure; 
More infamy than fame she did procure. 
She plac'd her glory but on Babel's walls, 
World's wonder for a time, but yet it falls. 
Fierce Tomris (Cirus' Heads-man, Sythians' Queen) 
Had put her Harness off, had she but seen 
Our Amazon i' th' Camp at Tilbury, 
(Judging all valour, and all Majesty) 
Within that Princess to have residence, 
And prostrate yielded to her Excellence. 
Dido first Foundress of proud Carthage walls 
(Who living consummates her Funerals), 
A great Eliza, but compar'd with ours, 
How vanisheth her glory, wealth, and powers. 
Proud profuse Cleopatra, whose wrong name, 
Instead of glory, prov'd her Country's shame: 
Of her what worth in Story's to be seen, 
But that she was a rich Ægyptian Queen. 
Zenobia, potent Empress of the East, 
And of all these without compare the best 
(Whom none but great Aurelius could quell) 
Yet for our Queen is no fit parallel: 
She was a Ph{oe}nix Queen, so shall she be, 
Her ashes not reviv'd more Ph{oe}nix she. 
Her personal perfections, who would tell, 
Must dip his Pen i' th' Heliconian Well, 
Which I may not, my pride doth but aspire 
To read what others write and then admire. 
Now say, have women worth, or have they none? 
Or had they some, but with our Queen is't gone? 
Nay Masculines, you have thus tax'd us long, 
But she, though dead, will vindicate our wrong. 
Let such as say our sex is void of reason 
Know 'tis a slander now, but once was treason. 
But happy England, which had such a Queen, 
O happy, happy, had those days still been, 
But happiness lies in a higher sphere. 
Then wonder not, Eliza moves not here. 
Full fraught with honour, riches, and with days, 
She set, she set, like Titan in his rays. 
No more shall rise or set such glorious Sun, 
Until the heaven's great revolution: 
If then new things, their old form must retain, 
Eliza shall rule Albian once again. 

Her Epitaph. 

Here sleeps T H E Queen, this is the royal bed 
O' th' Damask Rose, sprung from the white and red, 
Whose sweet perfume fills the all-filling air, 
This Rose is withered, once so lovely fair: 
On neither tree did grow such Rose before, 
The greater was our gain, our loss the more. 

Another. 

Here lies the pride of Queens, pattern of Kings: 
So blaze it fame, here's feathers for thy wings. 
Here lies the envy'd, yet unparallel'd Prince, 
Whose living virtues speak (though dead long since). 
If many worlds, as that fantastic framed, 
In every one, be her great glory famed. 
TOP


In Reference to her Children, 23 June 1659 

I had eight birds hatched in one nest, 
Four cocks there were, and hens the rest. 
I nursed them up with pain and care, 
Nor cost, nor labour did I spare, 
Till at the last they felt their wing, 
Mounted the trees, and learned to sing; 
Chief of the brood then took his flight 
To regions far and left me quite. 
My mournful chirps I after send, 
Till he return, or I do end: 
Leave not thy nest, thy dam and sire, 
Fly back and sing amidst this choir. 
My second bird did take her flight, 
And with her mate flew out of sight; 
Southward they both their course did bend, 
And seasons twain they there did spend, 
Till after blown by southern gales, 
They norward steered with filled sails. 
A prettier bird was no where seen, 
Along the beach among the treen. 
I have a third of colour white, 
On whom I placed no small delight; 
Coupled with mate loving and true, 
Hath also bid her dam adieu; 
And where Aurora first appears, 
She now hath perched to spend her years. 
One to the academy flew 
To chat among that learned crew; 
Ambition moves still in his breast 
That he might chant above the rest 
Striving for more than to do well, 
That nightingales he might excel. 
My fifth, whose down is yet scarce gone, 
Is 'mongst the shrubs and bushes flown, 
And as his wings increase in strength, 
On higher boughs he'll perch at length. 
My other three still with me nest, 
Until they're grown, then as the rest, 
Or here or there they'll take their flight, 
As is ordained, so shall they light. 
If birds could weep, then would my tears 
Let others know what are my fears 
Lest this my brood some harm should catch, 
And be surprised for want of watch, 
Whilst pecking corn and void of care, 
They fall un'wares in fowler's snare, 
Or whilst on trees they sit and sing, 
Some untoward boy at them do fling, 
Or whilst allured with bell and glass, 
The net be spread, and caught, alas. 
Or lest by lime-twigs they be foiled, 
Or by some greedy hawks be spoiled. 
O would my young, ye saw my breast, 
And knew what thoughts there sadly rest, 
Great was my pain when I you fed, 
Long did I keep you soft and warm, 
And with my wings kept off all harm, 
My cares are more and fears than ever, 
My throbs such now as 'fore were never. 
Alas, my birds, you wisdom want, 
Of perils you are ignorant; 
Oft times in grass, on trees, in flight, 
Sore accidents on you may light. 
O to your safety have an eye, 
So happy may you live and die. 
Meanwhile my days in tunes I'll spend, 
Till my weak lays with me shall end. 
In shady woods I'll sit and sing, 
And things that past to mind I'll bring. 
Once young and pleasant, as are you, 
But former toys (no joys) adieu. 
My age I will not once lament, 
But sing, my time so near is spent. 
And from the top bough take my flight 
Into a country beyond sight, 
Where old ones instantly grow young, 
And there with seraphims set song; 
No seasons cold, nor storms they see; 
But spring lasts to eternity. 
When each of you shall in your nest 
Among your young ones take your rest, 
In chirping language, oft them tell, 
You had a dam that loved you well, 
That did what could be done for young, 
And nursed you up till you were strong, 
And 'fore she once would let you fly, 
She showed you joy and misery; 
Taught what was good, and what was ill, 
What would save life, and what would kill. 
Thus gone, amongst you I may live, 
And dead, yet speak, and counsel give: 
Farewell, my birds, farewell adieu, 
I happy am, if well with you. 
TOP


In Thankful Remembrance for My Dear Husband's Safe Arrival Sept 3, 1662 

What shall I render to Thy name 
Or how Thy praises speak? 
My thanks how shall I testify? 
O Lord, Thou know'st I'm weak. 

I owe so much, so little can 
Return unto Thy name, 
Confusion seizes on my soul, 
And I am filled with shame. 

O Thou that hearest prayers, Lord, 
To Thee shall come all flesh 
Thou hast me heard and answered, 
My plaints have had access. 

What did I ask for but Thou gav'st? 
What could I more desire? 
But thankfulness even all my days 
I humbly this require. 

Thy mercies, Lord, have been so great 
In number numberless, 
Impossible for to recount 
Or any way express. 

O help Thy saints that sought Thy face 
T' return unto Thee praise 
And walk before Thee as they ought, 
In strict and upright ways. 
TOP


Meditations Divine and Moral 

A ship that bears much sail, and little ballast, is easily 
overset; and that man, whose head hath great abilities, and his 
heart little or no grace, is in danger of foundering. 
The finest bread has the least bran; the purest honey, the 
least wax; and the sincerest Christian, the least self-love. 
Sweet words are like honey; a little may refresh, but too much 
gluts the stomach. 
Divers children have their different natures: some are like 
flesh which nothing but salt will keep from putrefaction; some 
again like tender fruits that are best preserved with sugar. Those 
parents are wise that can fit their nurture according to their 
nature. 
Authority without wisdom is like a heavy axe without an edge, 
fitter to bruise than polish. 
The reason why Christians are so loath to exchange this world 
for a better, is because they have more sense than faith: they see 
what they enjoy, they do but hope for that which is to come. 
Dim eyes are the concomitants of old age; and short- 
sightedness, in those that are the eyes of a Republic, foretells a 
declining State. 
Wickedness comes to its height by degrees. He that dares say 
of a less sin, Is it not a little one? will erelong say of a 
greater, Tush, God regards it not. 
Fire hath its force abated by water, not by wind; and anger 
must be allayed by cold words and not by blustering threats. 
The gifts that God bestows on the sons of men, are not only 
abused, but most commonly employed for a clean contrary end than 
that which they were given for; as health, wealth, and honor, which 
might be so many steps to draw men to God in consideration of his 
bounty towards them, but have driven them the further from him, 
that they are ready to say, We are lords, we will come no more at 
thee. If outward blessings be not as wings to help us mount 
upwards, they will certainly prove clogs and weights that will pull 
us lower downward. 
TOP


Of the Four Ages of Man 

Lo, now four other act upon the stage, 
Childhood and Youth, the Many and Old age: 
The first son unto phlegm, grandchild to water, 
Unstable, supple, cold and moist's his nature 
The second, frolic, claims his pedigree 
From blood and air, for hot and moist is he. 
The third of fire and choler is compos'd, 
Vindicative and quarrelsome dispos'd. 
The last of earth and heavy melancholy, 
Solid, hating all lightness and all folly. 
Childhood was cloth'd in white and green to show 
His spring was intermixed with some snow: 
Upon his head nature a garland set 
Of Primrose, Daisy and the Violet. 
Such cold mean flowers the spring puts forth betime, 
Before the sun hath thoroughly heat the clime. 
His hobby striding did not ride but run, 
And in his hand an hour-glass new begun, 
In danger every moment of a fall, 
And when 't is broke then ends his life and all: 
But if he hold till it have run its last, 
Then may he live out threescore years or past. 
Next Youth came up in gorgeous attire 
(As that fond age doth most of all desire), 
His suit of crimson and his scarf of green, 
His pride in's countenance was quickly seen; 
Garland of roses, pinks and gillyflowers 
Seemed on's head to grow bedew'd with showers. 
His face as fresh as is Aurora fair, 
When blushing she first 'gins to light the air. 
No wooden horse, but one of mettle tried, 
He seems to fly or swim, and not to ride. 
Then prancing on the stage, about he wheels, 
But as he went death waited at his heels, 
The next came up in a much graver sort, 
As one that cared for a good report, 
His sword by's side, and choler in his eyes, 
But neither us'd as yet, for he was wise; 
Of Autumn's fruits a basket on his arm, 
His golden god in's purse, which was his charm. 
And last of all to act upon this stage 
Leaning upon his staff came up Old Age, 
Under his arm a sheaf of wheat he bore, 
An harvest of the best, what needs he more? 
In's other hand a glass ev'n almost run, 
Thus writ about: "This out, then am I done." 
TOP


The Prologue 

To sing of wars, of captains, and of kings, 
Of cities founded, commonwealths begun, 
For my mean pen are too superior things: 
Or how they all, or each, their dates have run; 
Let poets and historians set these forth, 
My obscure lines shall not so dim their work. 

But when my wondering eyes and envious heart 
Great Bartas' sugared lines do but read o'er, 
Fool I do grudge the Muses did not part 
'Twixt him and me that overfluent store;-- 
A Bartas can do what a Bartas will, 
But simple I according to my skill. 

From school-boys tongues no rhetoric we expect, 
Nor yet a sweet consort from broken strings, 
Nor perfect beauty where's a main defect: 
My foolish, broken, blemished Muse so sings; 
And this to mend, alas, no art is able, 
'Cause nature made is so, irreparable. 

Nor can I, like that fluent, sweet-tongued Greek 
Who lisped at first, in future times speak plain; 
By art he gladly found what he did seek-- 
A full requitl of his striving pain. 
Art can do much, but this maxim's most sure: 
A weak or wounded brain admits no cure. 

I am obnoxious to each carping tongue 
Who says my hand a needle better fits. 
A poet's pen all scorn I should thus wrong; 
For such despite they cast on female wits, 
If what I do prove well, it won't advance-- 
They'll say it was stolen, or else it was by chance. 

But shure the ancient Greeks were far more mild, 
Else of our sex why feignéd they those Nine, 
And Posey made Calliope's own child? 
So 'mongst the rest they placed the Arts Divine. 
But this weak knot they will full soon untie-- 
The Greeks did naught but play the fools and lie. 

Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are. 
Men have precenency, and still excell. 
It is but vain unjustly to wage war, 
Men can do best, and women know it well. 
Preëminence in all and each is yours-- 
Yet grant some small acknowledgement of ours. 

And oh, ye high flownquills that soar the skies, 
And ever with your prey still catch your praise, 
If e'er you deign these lowly lines your eyes, 
Give thyme or parsley wreath; I ask no bays. 
This mean and unrefinéd ore of mine 
Will make your glistening gold but more to shine. 
TOP


Spirit 
 
Be still, thou unregenerate part, 
Disturb no more my settled heart, 
For I have vow'd (and so will do) 
Thee as a foe still to pursue, 
And combat with thee will and must 
Until I see thee laid in th' dust. 
Sister we are, yea twins we be, 
Yet deadly feud 'twixt thee and me, 
For from one father are we not. 
Thou by old Adam wast begot, 
But my arise is from above, 
Whence my dear father I do love. 
Thou speak'st me fair but hat'st me sore. 
Thy flatt'ring shews I'll trust no more. 
How oft thy slave hast thou me made 
When I believ'd what thou hast said 
And never had more cause of woe 
Than when I did what thou bad'st do. 
I'll stop mine ears at these thy charms 
And count them for my deadly harms. 
Thy sinful pleasures I do hate, 
Thy riches are to me no bait. 
Thine honours do, nor will I love, 
For my ambition lies above. 
My greatest honour it shall be 
When I am victor over thee, 
And Triumph shall, with laurel head, 
When thou my Captive shalt be led. 
How I do live, thou need'st not scoff, 
For I have meat thou know'st not of. 
The hidden Manna I do eat; 
The word of life, it is my meat. 
My thoughts do yield me more content 
Than can thy hours in pleasure spent. 
Nor are they shadows which I catch, 
Nor fancies vain at which I snatch 
But reach at things that are so high, 
Beyond thy dull Capacity. 
Eternal substance I do see 
With which inriched I would be. 
Mine eye doth pierce the heav'ns and see 
What is Invisible to thee. 
My garments are not silk nor gold, 
Nor such like trash which Earth doth hold, 
But Royal Robes I shall have on, 
More glorious than the glist'ring Sun. 
My Crown not Diamonds, Pearls, and gold, 
But such as Angels' heads infold. 
The City where I hope to dwell, 
There's none on Earth can parallel. 
The stately Walls both high and trong 
Are made of precious Jasper stone, 
The Gates of Pearl, both rich and clear, 
And Angels are for Porters there. 
The Streets thereof transparent gold 
Such as no Eye did e're behold. 
A Crystal River there doth run 
Which doth proceed from the Lamb's Throne. 
Of Life, there are the waters sure 
Which shall remain forever pure. 
Nor Sun nor Moon they have no need 
For glory doth from God proceed. 
No Candle there, nor yet Torch light, 
For there shall be no darksome night. 
From sickness and infirmity 
Forevermore they shall be free. 
Nor withering age shall e're come there, 
But beauty shall be bright and clear. 
This City pure is not for thee, 
For things unclean there shall not be. 
If I of Heav'n may have my fill, 
Take thou the world, and all that will." 
TOP


To Her Father with Some Verses 

Most truly honoured, and as truly dear, 
If worth in me or ought I do appear, 
Who can of right better demand the same 
Than may your worthy self from whom it came? 
The principal might yield a greater sum, 
Yet handled ill, amounts but to this crumb; 
My stock's so small I know not how to pay, 
My bond remains in force unto this day; 
Yet for part payment take this simple mite, 
Where nothing's to be had, kings loose their right. 
Such is my debt I may not say forgive, 
But as I can, I'll pay it while I live; 
Such is my bond, none can discharge but I, 
Yet paying is not paid until I die. 
TOP


To my Dear and Loving Husband 

If ever two were one, then surely we. 
If ever man were loved by wife, then thee; 
If ever wife was happy in a man, 
Compare with me, ye woman, if you can. 
I prize thy love more than whole mines of gold, 
Or all the riches that the east doth hold. 
My love is such that rivers cannot quench, 
Nor aught but love from thee, give recompense. 
Thy love is such I can no way repay, 
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray. 
Then while we live, in love let's so perservere 
That when we live no more, we may live ever. 
TOP


Upon a Fit of Sickness, Anno 1632 Aetatis Suae
 
Twice ten years old not fully told 
since nature gave me breath, 
My race is run, my thread spun, 
lo, here is fatal death. 
All men must die, and so must I; 
this cannot be revoked. 
For Adam's sake this word God spake 
when he so high provoked. 
Yet live I shall, this life's but small, 
in place of highest bliss, 
Where I shall have all I can crave, 
no life is like to this. 
For what's this but care and strife 
since first we came from womb? 
Our strength doth waste, our time doth haste, 
and then we go to th' tomb. 
O bubble blast, how long can'st last? 
that always art a breaking, 
No sooner blown, but dead and gone, 
ev'n as a word that's speaking. 
O whilst I live this grace me give, 
I doing good may be, 
Then death's arrest I shall count best, 
because it's Thy decree; 
Bestow much cost there's nothing lost, 
to make salvation sure, 
O great's the gain, though got with pain, 
comes by profession pure. 
The race is run, the field is won, 
the victory's mine I see; 
Forever known, thou envious foe, 
the foil belongs to thee. 
TOP


Upon My Dear and Loving Husband his Going into England Jan. 16, 1661 
 
O thou Most High who rulest all 
And hear'st the prayers of thine, 
O hearken, Lord, unto my suit 
And my petition sign. 

Into Thy everlasting arms Of mercy 
I commend Thy servant, Lord. 
Keep and preserve My husband, 
my dear friend. 

At Thy command, O Lord, he went, 
Nor nought could keep him back. 
Then let Thy promise joy his heart, 
O help and be not slack. 

Uphold my heart in Thee, O God. 
Thou art my strength and stay, 
Thou see'st how weak and frail I am, 
Hide not Thy face away. 

I in obedience to Thy will 
Thou knowest did submit. 
It was my duty so to do; 
O Lord, accept of it. 

Unthankfulness for mercies past 
Impute Thou not to me. 
O Lord, Thou know'st my weak desire 
Was to sing praise to Thee. 

Lord, be Thou pilot to the ship 
And send them prosperous gales. 
In storms and sickness, Lord, preserve. 
Thy goodness never fails. 

Unto Thy work he hath in hand 
Lord, grant Thou good success 
And favour in their eyes to whom 
He shall make his address. 

Remember, Lord, Thy folk whom Thou 
To wilderness hast brought; 
Let not Thine own inheritance 
Be sold away for nought. 

But tokens of Thy favour give, 
With joy send back my dear 
That I and all Thy servants may 
Rejoice with heavenly cheer. 

Lord, let my eyes see once again 
Him whom Thou gavest me 
That we together may sing praise 
Forever unto Thee. 

And the remainder of our days 
Shall consecrated be 
With an engaged heart to sing 
All praises unto Thee. 
TOP


Upon Some Distemper of Body 

In anguish of my heart replete with woes, 
And wasting pains, which best my body knows, 
In tossing slumbers on my wakeful bed, 
Bedrenched with tears that flowed from mournful head, 
Till nature had exhausted all her store, 
Then eyes lay dry, disabled to weep more; 
And looking up unto his throne on high, 
Who sendeth help to those in misery; 
He chased away those clouds and let me see 
My anchor cast i' th' vale with safety. 
He eased my soul of woe, my flesh of pain, 
and brought me to the shore from troubled main. 
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The Vanity of All Worldly Things 

As he said vanity, so vain say I, 
Oh! Vanity, O vain all under sky; 
Where is the man can say, "Lo, I have found 
On brittle earth a consolation sound"? 
What isn't in honor to be set on high? 
No, they like beasts and sons of men shall die, 
And whilst they live, how oft doth turn their fate; 
He's now a captive that was king of late. 
What isn't in wealth great treasures to obtain? 
No, that's but labor, anxious care, and pain. 
He heaps up riches, and he heaps up sorrow, 
It's his today, but who's his heir tomorrow? 
What then? Content in pleasures canst thou find? 
More vain than all, that's but to grasp the wind. 
The sensual senses for a time they pleasure, 
Meanwhile the conscience rage, who shall appease? 
What isn't in beauty? No that's but a snare, 
They're foul enough today, that once were fair. 
What is't in flow'ring youth, or manly age? 
The first is prone to vice, the last to rage. 
Where is it then, in wisdom, learning, arts? 
Sure if on earth, it must be in those parts; 
Yet these the wisest man of men did find 
But vanity, vexation of the mind. 
And he that know the most doth still bemoan 
He knows not all that here is to be known. 
What is it then? To do as stoics tell, 
Nor laugh, nor weep, let things go ill or well? 
Such stoics are but stocks, such teaching vain, 
While man is man, he shall have ease or pain. 
If not in honor, beauty, age, nor treasure, 
Nor yet in learning, wisdom, youth, nor pleasure, 
Where shall I climb, sound, seek, search, or find 
That summum bonum which may stay my mind? 
There is a path no vulture's eye hath seen, 
Where lion fierce, nor lion's whelps have been, 
Which leads unto that living crystal fount, 
Who drinks thereof, the world doth naught account. 
The depth and sea have said " 'tis not in me," 
With pearl and gold it shall not valued be. 
For sapphire, onyx, topaz who would change; 
It's hid from eyes of men, they count it strange. 
Death and destruction the fame hath heard, 
But where and what it is, from heaven's declared; 
It brings to honor which shall ne'er decay, 
It stores with wealth which time can't wear away. 
It yieldeth pleasures far beyond conceit, 
And truly beautifies without deceit. 
Nor strength, nor wisdom, nor fresh youth shall fade, 
Nor death shall see, but are immortal made. 
This pearl of price, this tree of life, this spring, 
Who is possessed of shall reign a king. 
Nor change of state nor cares shall ever see, 
But wear his crown unto eternity. 
This satiates the soul, this stays the mind, 
And all the rest, but vanity we find. 
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Verses upon the Burning of our House, July 18th, 1666 
 
In silent night when rest I took, 
For sorrow near I did not look, 
I waken'd was with thund'ring noise 
And piteous shrieks of dreadful voice. 
That fearful sound of "fire" and "fire," 
Let no man know is my Desire. 
I starting up, the light did spy, 
And to my God my heart did cry 
To straighten me in my Distress 
And not to leave me succourless. 
Then coming out, behold a space 
The flame consume my dwelling place. 
And when I could no longer look, 
I blest his grace that gave and took, 
That laid my goods now in the dust. 
Yea, so it was, and so 'twas just. 
It was his own; it was not mine. 
Far be it that I should repine, 
He might of all justly bereft 
But yet sufficient for us left. 
When by the Ruins oft I past 
My sorrowing eyes aside did cast 
And here and there the places spy 
Where oft I sate and long did lie. 
Here stood that Trunk, and there that chest, 
There lay that store I counted best, 
My pleasant things in ashes lie 
And them behold no more shall I. 
Under the roof no guest shall sit, 
Nor at thy Table eat a bit. 
No pleasant talk shall 'ere be told 
Nor things recounted done of old. 
No Candle 'ere shall shine in Thee, 
Nor bridegroom's voice ere heard shall bee. 
In silence ever shalt thou lie. 
Adieu, Adieu, All's Vanity. 
Then straight I 'gin my heart to chide: 
And did thy wealth on earth abide, 
Didst fix thy hope on mouldring dust, 
The arm of flesh didst make thy trust? 
Raise up thy thoughts above the sky 
That dunghill mists away may fly. 
Thou hast a house on high erect 
Fram'd by that mighty Architect, 
With glory richly furnished 
Stands permanent, though this be fled. 
It's purchased and paid for too 
By him who hath enough to do. 
A price so vast as is unknown, 
Yet by his gift is made thine own. 
There's wealth enough; I need no more. 
Farewell, my pelf; farewell, my store. 
The world no longer let me love; 
My hope and Treasure lies above. 
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We May Live Together 

If ever two were one, then surely we. 
If ever man were lov'd by wife, then thee. 
If ever wife was happy in a man, 
Compare with me, ye women, if you can. 
I prize thy love more than whole Mines of gold 
Or all the riches that the East doth hold. 
My love is such that Rivers cannot quench, 
Nor ought but love from thee give recompetence. 
Thy love is such I can no way repay. 
The heavens reward thee manifold, I pray. 
Then while we live, in love let's so persever 
That when we live no more, we may live ever. 


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